A PATHOLOGIST has told a murder trial jury that a man killed in his home suffered at least three blows to his head, as well as one which broke a rib.

Dr Mark Egan said victim Jonathan Gilbert died of a subdural haemorrhage – a bleeding to the brain – caused by the brain “twisting” after an impact.

Father-of-two Mr Gilbert died in hospital ten days after being assaulted in his home in Sycamore Gardens, Crook, County Durham, on April 20, this year.

The 43-year-old was found unconscious by house-mate David Pinder – the stepfather of the man accused of murdering him – and never recovered.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court was told that the crucial question in the case will be the intent of Christopher Morgan while he assaulted Mr Gilbert.

The prosecution alleges that 24-year-old Morgan punched, kicked and stamped on his victim during an argument over something he said a week earlier.

Yesterday, pathologist Dr Egan said his post-mortem examination revealed four injuries to Mr Gilbert’s head, one of which may have been caused by a fall after being knocked over.

He said that the others were consistent with being punched, kicked or stamped on.

Under cross-examination from defence solicitor, Jamie Hill, Dr Egan said it would be usual to find footwear marks in bruises if someone had been stamped on.

He confirmed there were no such prints on Mr Gilbert’s head or body, but said the patterning could have disappeared by the time the autopsy was done.

Morgan, of Thornfield Road, Consett, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but denies murder. His trial is expected to continue all week.